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Saturday, May 6, 2017
Turkish Official: We May Launch Rockets at U.S. Forces in Syria ‘by Accident’
In the latest incendiary comments from the Turkish government, a senior adviser to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned on Wednesday of the possibility of future Turkish attacks on American forces operating in the region.
“If they [Kurdish forces] go too far, our [forces won’t care] that American armored vehicles are there. … Unexpectedly, a number of rockets may also hit them by accident,”saidIlnur Cevik, in response to aradio interview questionon the recent deployment of American soldiers with the Kurdish militias in Northern Syria.
Following last week’s surprise Turkish airstrikes on Iraqi and Syrian Kurdish forces in Sinjar and Derik —killing around 70combatants allied with the U.S. — the conflict has escalated between two key American allies in the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS), leading the Syrian Kurds to demand a no-fly zone from the U.S.
“If they [the U.S.] do this [partner with Kurdish forces], what are you supposed to do?” added Mr. Cevik, reiterating his indifference to Turkish attacks on U.S. forces.
The Syrian Kurdish Peoples Protection Units, or YPG, form the core of the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces. Turkey claims the YPG is affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, with which it has engaged in a decades-long war. The U.S. has designated the PKK a terrorist organization. READ MORE